Album: Nickel Eye, The Time of the Assassins, (Ryko)

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The Independent Culture

In the early days of the Strokes, Nikolai Fraiture was so self-evidently the best-looking member that you wondered why he was not their lead singer.

That mystery is solved at last. Fraiture has a voice that makes Ian Brown sound like Smokey Robinson. 'Time of the Assassins' is a test of endurance. It starts with the Seventies funk of "Intro (Every Time)", but quickly settles into bog-standard indie rock. "Dying Star" at least has a bit of a kick to it, courtesy of Yeah Yeah Yeahs' guitarist Nick Zinner. Don't give up the day job.

Pick of the album: Yeah, OK, maybe: 'Dying Star'

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